The year 2020 was destined to be one for the history books. Tech analysts and social critics have long predicted that the double 20s would be the tipping point when digital took priority over analog. They were right for all the wrong reasons. Remote work, remote learning and remote everything else became the defining features of life in 2020 as rising infection rates, rolling lockdowns and quarantines made in-person meetings all but impossible.
How It All Began
At the end of 2019, OneScreen was chosen as the technology standard for the City of Baltimore's 21st Century School Buildings Plan. Local education leaders introduced interactive smart screens from OneScreen into more than 190 schools and district offices. It was a signal that classrooms everywhere were ready for a major technological upgrade.
Kicking off the Next Generation of EduTech
For more than 12 years, OneScreen has been working with educators and business leaders in order to simplify collaboration and make group projects more productive. Combining our innovative engineering with their input, we've made our smart screens easier to use, reduced the burden on local IT resources, promoted interoperability and generated more value for communications technology, from the classroom to the conference room.
As a result of our hard work, Microsoft and Qualcomm partnered with OneScreen in the early months of 2020. The goal of this global team was to combine Microsoft Classroom technology with high-speed processors from Qualcomm and the most popular interactive smart screens from OneScreen. The three produced a prototype of this new concept at the BETT 2020 education conference in January.
The Arrival of Coronavirus and Remote by Default
There were rumors at the end of 2019 of a new virus spreading around the globe that was similar to the flu but much more dangerous. By March of 2020, schools, businesses and government services in many countries were being shut down for safety and to slow the spread. In the US, entire states were shutting down.
Like corporate citizens and leaders on every continent, OneScreen felt a responsibility to step up and help reduce the harm caused by Coronavirus. We rolled out a device that could screen individuals for early symptoms of the virus and to make it easier for people to connect when they couldn’t share the same physical location.
Hype, our browser-based teleconferencing software, gained popularity as all kinds of meetings moved online. Due to all the new demands on our customers, we offered Hype free for six months so they could work out their remote setups going forward.
Also during this period, OneScreen as a Subscription saw a surge in requests as customers fought uncertainty. Subscription pricing transforms the upfront expense of buying new technology into small monthly payments. At the same time, subscription future-proofs hardware and software purchases from OneScreen because they automatically upgrade over time.
Summer Brings Reopenings and GoSafe
After a long springtime of rearranged lifestyles, virus counts were falling by the summer and people began discussing what it would take to reopen. Educators prepared for the approaching school year and businesses that had gone entirely virtual felt the pressing need to bring back both employees and customers.
OneScreen introduced GoSafe, which had gone from concept to production in a matter of weeks thanks to the strong relationships we had built with our partners. In particular, Qualcomm brought their AI-enhanced Snapdragon processor to GoSafe for a faster, more secure temperature scanner unlike anything else in the industry.
GoSafe allowed schools, businesses and government offices to reopen by assuring that everyone coming through the door was wearing a mask and that anyone with an elevated temperature would be alerted immediately. Our reseller network and partnerships grew across many new channels as global customers began asking for GoSafe.
Hybrid Classrooms Become Symbols of the New Normal
Amid a growing pool of studies showed that schools were not hotspots for COVID-19, districts worked to define their hybrid education model with questions like how many and how often students should return to the physical classroom. For students who would remain remote, educators needed to find the most effective remote learning technology.
The hybrid classroom became the new normal, just as the hybrid workplace had. Even where it was safe, many people preferred to continue working and taking classes remotely. The productivity increases were undeniable. 2020 had managed to become the tipping point year for digitization in a way no one could have predicted.
As thousands of schools, businesses and government offices chose GoSafe, leaders in the education sector became more interested in how interactive smart screens were improving their performance numbers. Purchasing OneScreen as a Subscription allowed district leaders to spread the EduTech more equitably across all the schools within their respective areas, not just those with the biggest budgets for technology.
Looking Back to Learn, Looking Ahead to Grow
In 2021, OneScreen plans to build on the concept of Education as a Service so that district leaders can choose a turnkey solution for upgrading schools. In the months ahead, stay tuned for announcements on AI-enhanced security cameras that transform raw data into real recommendations for safer schools.
Meanwhile, GoSafe is evolving into a full entryway management system with custom consoles and integration with local network software. Inside the physical classroom, look for the next upgrade to Hubware with Qualcomm processors that deliver faster, more secure, simple yet powerful tools for teachers.
All of these innovations in the education sector are coming to OneScreen for Enterprise as well, with specialized adaptations like language translation in real time and productivity apps so workers can collaborate more effectively with tighter turnaround times.
Welcome to the post-2020 world. OneScreen is ready to keep breaking down barriers and bringing teams together in 2021 and into the future.